“I like London roughly twice as much as I like New York, but three times as much as I like Paris. And I love all three,” writes Ben Macintyre in a recent Times article. While Macintyre can find plenty to love about each city, he also recognises their flaws. Whether you’re relocated to one of these cities or visiting for a few days, you’re bound to find plenty to love and hate.
At first glance, Paris isn’t the kind of city you would imagine as a national financial centre, with its café-style bars and streets lined with haute couture houses. It’s an immaculately preserved city, with wide well-kept streets and perfectly manicured parks, and it’s home to staggering museum collections and incredible landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. But you’ll need to know the language if you’re going to fit in. Paddy Hegan, our Partner Relations and Rates Manager – International, who has spent several years in France, warns that “everything in Paris is in French. If you’re determined to live your life there in English, be prepared to miss out on all the joys Paris has to offer. Paris is not Benidorm and it isn’t New York either.”
Macintyre describes his experience of living in New York as “thrilling, mind-altering and, in the end, knackering.” New York is in a state of constant movement and ambitious growth, much of which can be seen in its towering skyscrapers, from the elegant art-deco Chrysler Building to the One World Trade Center, still under construction but already the tallest building in the city. Epitomising the ‘work hard, play hard’ maxim, nobody likes to waste time and if you can’t keep up you’ll be left behind. Paddy also advises you to prepare your stomach, because New Yorkers don’t just go out for lunch and dinner – they go out for breakfast too.
London pulsates with life and although it’s steeped in history and full of fine architecture, it’s a thoroughly modern mix of cultures, from leafy west London to edgy Dalston and Shoreditch. Samuel Johnson said that “by seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show”, and there is no greater city in the world for you to blend into the background and watch the world go by. However, public transport can let the city down, from the high ticket prices to the frequent line closures.
Macintyre concludes that he would choose “New York for excitement. Paris for love. But give me London for life.” Luckily, we have plenty to offer in all three cities, with around 8,000 London serviced apartments, 3,000 Paris serviced apartments and 3,000 New York serviced apartments.